Apr 30, 2011


In nature it's always something. My eyes deceive me once again as I glance outside at the glass table on the deck. The object was bright red, not a paint stain because it was moving. I scrambled for a pair of glasses and sure enough it was moving. Are those legs I see? For this I need a magnifying glass. I scrambled for the magnifying glass and go in for a close look. Eww, a curious group of tiny red-shelled spiders huddled together and when one moved they all moved as if it were one spider instead of 100 or so.

My skin wasn't crawling too badly at this point because I thought "awww, they must be baby ladybugs how.... cute?" But wait a minute, don't ladybugs come from butter flies or cocoons or something? So I took a photo and planned a Google investigation for later.
Then there was the pesky hard-shelled triangle shaped bug sitting on the same table only it was dead. I recognized this guy as the kind of bug I thought ate one of my favorite potted plants last week. The plant was fine when I checked it that afternoon, the next morning it was a shadow of it's former self. I photographed him for a Google later too.
It didn't take long to find out that the triangle shaped guy is a "Stink Bug". Notorious for eating fruit and veg in the garden. Plenty of writings about them on line, but because they're apparently difficult to control everyone wants to sell you the big secret to obliterating them.

I scrolled a little further and low and behold, there was a photo of the tiny red group of bugs. Turns out they're not ladybugs but baby stink bugs. Now my skin is crawling and I can't wait to get back to the table with as much poison as I can find around here and kill every one of these buggers. YUK!

And just to drive home the fact that creatures, critters and crawlers have us humans out numbered, we found a copperhead snake cooling it's jets under the chestnut tree last week.
This exact spot is where my dogs lay every single day. They love to eat the chestnuts and they love to sleep in the shade of that tree. Now and forever more my skin is crawling. This is no place for sissies, that's the truth.

Apr 12, 2011


Some wonderful person has taken pity on us. When they heard about our pitiful attempts at growing tomatoes last spring, this local shero pulled out all the stops by providing us with starter tomato plants in ten, count-um ten different varieties. We wasted no time getting them into their dirty new homes, and determined to get it right this time, spent two days lugging huge bags of dirt and manure around the half mowed yard last weekend. After all, now our reputation is at stake (no pun intended).

Yes, I said half mowed lawn because once again the old goat of a lawn tractor failed to cooperate and finish what it started the first time out. The tiny generator that can only be plugged into an auto cigarette lighter did the trick and inflated the flat tires we were concerned about. Which reminds me, I noticed the front tires on that thing are two different sizes. If you didn't believe spit and glue was a literal term for life out here, that should help to convince you.

So on the very first mow of the season with the yard half done, a horrible sound emerged from it's lower front section and it stopped working immediately. Once again, we were lucky to return it to it's resting place in the garage until further notice. Geez, what an exasperating pain in the ass that mower is, but I digress.

Our garden is now officially on it's way to glory with a number of herbs, cucumbers, bell pepper, jalapeno and of course, tomatoes in 10 varieties. I'm making a practice of lighting candles every night until I see proof that something is thriving out there.

We won't be composting this year. We decided that the delicate balance of wet and dry materials, proper container, time and attention composting requires is just too much. About the time maggots showed up on the outside of the container last year, we decided we're not cut out for that particular endeavor. If we ever try it again, we absolutely must have a proper composting system to work with. Winging it with compost is just not a good idea.

Next post, I'll share with you more photos of tomato plants in progress along with variety names, etc. Until then my friends, don't forget to leave a comment here. By now you know how grumpy it makes me when I don't get any. More later.